Your family misses you

They may sometimes - okay, often - be obnoxious, but they are yours.

Dr. Jacob L. Freedman,

OpEds Aliyah flight
Aliyah flight
צילום: INN: JF

Israel is the Jewish Homeland: plain and simple.  It's the land that G-d gave to Avraham our forefather and the land of King David.  It's the land of Avraham Stern and David Ben-Gurion.
 
Therefore every Jew--no matter their affiliation or level of observance--feels out of place outside of Israel and feels at home inside the Jewish State.  It's why Aliyah from Brazil, France, America, and everywhere else across the earth is on the rise.
 
It's also why I decided to leave the only home I've ever know in Boston—in spite of the guaranteed salary, the friends and family I still love dearly, and my mentor Rabbi Naftoly Bier—to be part of something bigger.  
 
And so I landed and started anew to find that my idealism, while powerful, would be tested by bureaucracy, a new culture, and a million other challenges including my landlord refusing to fix the raw sewage leak in my bathroom.  Luckily, I received some sage advice from my friend Moshe Wilshinsky, a fellow expatriate, who reminded me, "If Israel is your home, then this is your family.  And sometimes your family takes the liberty of knowing that no matter how obnoxious they might be that you will never disown them."  
 
It’s kind of like your cousin refusing to take you to the airport even though she has the morning off and is already headed downtown.  But you can't get too upset because you'll see her at the family BBQ that weekend and life's just too short to hold a grudge over something silly like this.
 
But if everyone is family, then there are also the unexpected benefits of having 7 million new aunts, uncles, and cousins ready to help you out on a minute's notice.
 
For example, there is tremping (Israel's version of hitchhiking).  My own personal favorite tremping experience was the time that my bus broke down in the middle of the highway and the ten cars immediately behind us pulled off to the shoulder of the road to pick everyone up.  My fellow commuters and I all got home in the same amount of time and had the pleasure of meeting some new neighbors along the way.  So much better than in America where hitchhiking is for weirdos and axe-murderers!
 
Then there is the endless supply of Jewish mothers who are dying to give you free advice at the restaurant on what your kids should be eating.  Perhaps it's not healthy enough that your baby is eating French fries.  Perhaps it's too healthy that your baby is only eating salad and needs a candy so badly that the woman sitting next to you has already unwrapped one, put it into your son’s mouth, and pinched his cheeks while taking a selfie with him before you could get a word in.
 
Sure there are guys who will try to sell you a used microwave for 599 shekels even though the sticker clearly says “200 shekels.”  But there are also plenty of stores that will give you closeout prices on a perfectly good refrigerator and free delivery because you happen to live down the street from their grandma and they were going to visit her anyways before Shabat.
 
And for every dry cleaner that wants you to pay in advance (and refuses to give you a receipt of payment or even a ticket documenting you've given them your suit), there's a baker who knows that you aren't lying about having forgotten your wallet.  It’s priceless that he doesn't sweat it when you ask if you can come back and pay tomorrow.  It's even better than back in the day when Uncle Jon knew you were good for it after losing your Super Bowl bet on the Cowboys. 
 
There’s nothing like coming home to family, whether to visit for Shabat or to move back for good.  Israel is the Jewish Homeland: plain and simple.  Beyond the fact that Israel is the future of the Jewish people, there are literally millions of great reasons to make Aliyah.  So come home…your family is waiting!




top